US to Canada: Give us back our uranium

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US to Canada: Give us back our uranium




U.S. says it wants radioactive material back; agency won't say what it will do

Ian MacLeod, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, September 04, 2008

OTTAWA - Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. is sitting on a stockpile of orphaned bomb-grade uranium it doesn't want to talk about.

Since the Crown corporation pulled the plug in May on further development of two troubled MAPLE reactors at its Chalk River nuclear laboratories, officials have debated how to deal with the estimated 45 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) the United States exported to Canada for production of medical isotopes in the now-doomed reactors.

Whatever the options are now for the uranium, AECL isn't saying.

"We haven't made a final decision yet. For commercial and security reasons, I'm just not at liberty to discuss any details," spokesman Dale Coffin said Thursday.

David McIntyre, of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which authorized the export licences to ship the uranium to Canada, confirmed Thursday that his agency contacted AECL after it announced the death of the MAPLEs on May 16. But he, too, would not discuss the issue further.

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